UCLA’s Price is named Pac-10 defensive player of the year


UCLA defensive tackle Brian Price was named the Pacific 10 Conference’s defensive player of the year Monday.

Price was so dominant that he received the honor despite the fact the 6-6 Bruins finished eighth in conference with a 3-6 record. Stanford running back Toby Gerhart, a Heisman Trophy finalist, was named the offensive player of the year and Oregon’s Chip Kelly is the coach of the year.

Price, a junior who may declare for the NFL draft, led the conference with 22.5 tackles for a loss, which ranks him third nationally. Gerhart has 1,736 yards rushing, ranking him second nationally. He leads the nation with 26 touchdowns and 160 points. Kelly guided Oregon to the conference title after a season-opening loss to Boise State. The Ducks will play Ohio State in Rose Bowl on New Year’s Day.

USC had four players named to the first team, including Damian Williams twice, as a wide receiver and punt returner. Offensive linemen Jeff Byers and Charles Brown and safety Taylor Mays were also first-team selections.

UCLA had four other players named to the first team besides Price -- linebacker Reggie Carter, safety Rahim Moore, cornerback Alterraun Verner and kicker Kai Forbath.

UCLA punter Jeff Locke and kick returner Terrence Austin were named to the second team. USC defensive lineman Everson Griffin, defensive back Josh Pinkard and punt returner Garrett Green were second-team selections.

USC will play Boston College in the Emerald Bowl on Dec. 26. UCLA will face Temple in the EagleBank Bowl on Dec. 29, provided Navy beats Army on Saturday.